Greg Egan

Orion 1995
A book review by Danny Yee © 1995
Egan's Axiomatic is a collection of short stories solidly in the classical tradition of science fiction. While some of the stories are based on physics (and particularly quantum mechanics), Egan also draws on more recent work in molecular biology and computer science for inspiration. His stories are never pure technical gimmickry, either: the science is largely taken as given and it is the social, psychological and philosophical consequences which are explored. A few of the stories seem a little contrived, but most of them work superbly, completely convincing once the initial suspension of disbelief is achieved.

Some of the stories which I found particularly memorable: "The Moral Virologist" is a black comedy in which a fundamentalist molecular biologist builds a virus which really will kill all adulterers and homosexuals (except that it can't cope with incest between identical twins); in "Appropriate Love" a woman carries her husbands brain in her womb while a new body is being grown for him; and in "Seeing" a victim of brain damage has his "point of view" shifted so he is looking down on himself from above (though what he actually sees stays the same). There are more original ideas in Axiomatic than I've seen in a science fiction collection for ages, and anyone who likes hard science fiction will revel in them.

September 1995

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%T Axiomatic
%A Egan, Greg
%I Orion
%D 1995
%O paperback
%G ISBN 1857984161
%P 289pp